Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2019) and Greater Toronto's Top Employers (2018) :
- With multiple employee groups, Sunnybrook Health Sciences has balanced its maternity and parental leave policies to ensure that the majority of its employees (approximately 70%) receive the same levels of maternity leave top-up for new moms (to 93% of salary for 25 weeks), as well as parental leave top-ups for new dads and adoptive parents (to 93% of salary for 10 weeks) -- and all employees can take advantage of the convenience of an onsite daycare centre with 60 spaces
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences helps employees plan securely for the future with contributions to a defined benefit pension plan and retirement planning assistance -- the organization also offers phased-in work options to help employees make the transition
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences offers a unique workplace experience in health care, located on an incredible campus-like setting with nearly 100 acres of ravine parkland with plenty of green space for employees to walk or ride their bikes, private outdoor spaces for quiet lunch breaks, a large gathering space for over 3,000 employees (where an annual fall barbecue is hosted), and outdoor soccer field -- inside, employees have access to a variety of eating options and two fitness centres, as well as shops and services
Sunnybrook focuses on building team leadership
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is a teaching hospital where the learning never stops. Much of that learning takes the form of non-clinical courses or certificate programs offered by the Sunnybrook Leadership Institute (SLI).
Its courses or certificate programs are open to all emerging and existing Sunnybrook leaders across the hospital's varied workforce -- among others, physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and social workers.
Says Dr. Andrew Smith, President & CEO: "It makes sense to hire the best and the brightest and then to make sure you are constantly trying to nurture them, challenge them, grow them and give them opportunities to learn. The ideas of continuing education and professional development are deeply embedded in health care, especially at Sunnybrook."
One of the institute's greatest contributions, he adds, is bringing personnel together as cross-professional groups and "eschewing the notion of developing individual groups within their silos." In his own career at Sunnybrook, Smith says he has benefited enormously from the professional development opportunities it has presented.
The SLI focuses on developing three tiers of leaders: emerging leaders -- who are not yet in a management role, but are future leaders; developing leaders -- who are already middle managers; and advanced leaders -- who are usually at the director level and should be role models for others.
Some courses, such as Finance 101, which covers the intricacies of health care budgeting, are created by in-house content experts. "A lot of what we, especially physicians, know about fiscal management is learned on the job," says Smith. "We have tried to fill that gap with courses like this."
Other Institute courses are created in partnership with the York University and University of Toronto business schools and taught by their professors at Sunnybrook; while still others, like Crucial Conversations -- techniques for how to communicate effectively with colleagues on sensitive issues -- are licensed from proprietary providers and taught by Sunnybrook instructors.
"We brought people together to learn on-site rather than dispersing them all over the city to do their learning," says Marilyn Reddick, Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development & Leadership. Since 2014, over 11,000 staff and physicians have participated in the institute's workshops and programs.
The institute offers nine programs, each comprising five to seven courses. Participants who complete a program receive a certificate. A cohort of 400 employees received certificates at a graduation ceremony in September 2017.
Dr. Calvin Law, Chief of Sunnybrook' s Odette Cancer Centre, says the institute's courses were so valuable to his 700+ staff that the SLI and the cancer centre collaborated to design a program especially for the centre's identified leaders. It was launched in the autumn of 2016.
The first part, attended by nearly 30 leaders, focused on inter-personnel skills, "such as how to have proper conversations and create a respectful workplace," says Law. The second part, intended for 20 leaders with greater responsibility, emphasizes skills such as coaching and financial management.
There are many other educational sessions as well as just-in-time learning, depending on activities or projects within the hospital. For example, Sunnybrook is opening a complex malignant hematology unit for specialized treatment of individuals with blood cancers such as leukemia. "We will do just-in-time learning to plan for what is involved in taking on these patients," says Reddick.
The SLI strives to be broadly inclusive, says Smith. "That reflects how things happen in a health-care system. They happen by teams. They don't happen by just one area, and you shouldn't educate by just one area."
Recognized as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People
By Kristina Leung and Richard Yerema, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 8, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was selected as one of Canada's Top Employers for Young People (2018):
- In partnership with the Toronto District School Board, Sunnybrook Health Sciences accepts up to 75 high school students annually as part of its Experiential Learning Co-Operative Program -- and also works with local high schools to offer volunteer opportunities for 450 students each year as well as a co-op/apprenticeship program in skilled trade positions such as carpentry, plumbing and electrical
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences hosts an annual Healthcare Student Career Fair with 25 interactive booths representing healthcare disciplines available for participants to speak with heathcare professionals
Recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Apr 18, 2018)
Here are some of the reasons why Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was selected as one of Canada's Greenest Employers (2018):
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences employs two senior-level personnel who lead the evolution and implementation of the "Environmental Sustainability Policy", which encompasses five primary areas: energy and water conservation, waste management, transportation, procurement, and awareness and education -- the policy is supported by a number of unique outreach initiatives to get employees involved, including the annual Earth Matters Showcase to teach employees about behaviours they can adopt at work and at home
- Sunnybrook Health Sciences' most recent in-house commuter survey was conducted in 2016 to assist with long-term transportation planning programs -- over half of the organization's workforce carpool, cycle, take the hospital shuttle or public transit to work -- the Hospital has repeatedly been recognized by Smart Commute as a "GOLD Workplace" for its focus on alternative transportation